Francis Henney Smith, USMA 1833

Born 1812. Died March 21, 1890, at Lexington, VA, age 78. 

Cadet at USMA September 1, 1829 to July 1, 1833..

Publications by F. H. Smith:

Notebook, 1832-1834, SPEC Mss, 212 p., bound ; 20 x 17 cm. 

Summary:  Notebook containing by laws of the "United Carroll Club"; copy of a letter from Professor Edward Henry Courtenay declining to have his portrait painted; sketch of a cadet; original poetry by Smith, Hunter, Bliss and others.

An elementary treatise on analytical geometry / translated from the French of J.B. Biot, for
the use of the cadets of the Virginia Military Institute, at Lexington, Va. ; and adapted to
the present state of mathematical instruction in the colleges of the United States
, New York ; London : Wiley and Putnam, 1840. USMA: Special Coll. QA551 .B62 1840.

The preface reveals that "The original work of M. Biot was for many years the Text Book in teh U. S. Military Academy at West Point. It is justly regarded as the best elementary treatise on Analytical Geometry that has as yet appeared." Rickey has photocopy of a part of this book. AAR say the French edition of Biot of 1826 was used as a text till 1833. There is no indication that this translation was used as a textbook here, but I suspect that it was (why use a French edition when an English one is available?). The 1826 French Biot was used as a text from 1821 to 1825 and 1825 to ? [Centennial, I, 450, citing Report Superintendent U. S. Military Academy, 1896, pp. 25 and 46]. Try to check and see just when this was used as a text and, more importantly, which parts of it were actually used. 

Lecture on the history of mathematics, Lexington, VA, 1841. American University Special Collections QA& .S647 1841.  [Mentioned Centennial, II, 358.]

Elimination between two unknown equations with two unknown quantities, by means of the greatest common divisor: also, analysis of curves, with an application to an equation of the fourth degree, New York: Wiley and Putnam, 1842, 59 p. : ill. ; 23 cm.  American University Special Collections QA7 .S647 1842. 

The inner life of the V. M. I. cadet: its responsibilities and its privileges. Introductory
address to the corps of cadets at the Virginia Military Institute, on the resumption of the
academic exercises, Sept. 10, 1866
. By Francis H. Smith. Published by order of the Board
of Visitors, Lexington, Va., 1873. SPECIAL COLL-FL:   U430.V8 S6 1873.

Letter, 1878 April 26, Lexington, Virginia [to] John M. Schofield. SPEC Mss. 7 p. ; 25 x 20 cm
Summary: Superintendent, VMI, 1840-1889. Letter discusses the Parrott gun.

West Point fifty years ago. An address delivered before the Association of Graduates of the U. S. Military Academy, West Point, at the Annual Reunion, June 12, 1879. New York: Van Nostrand, 1897, 16pp. USMA:  U410.L1 S647w.  [Have photocopy]  Available on the web.

Contains very interesting detail about Davies, Long, and Church. Gives us a glimpse into the USMA classroom and the personalities of these professors. 

The Virginia Military Institute, its building and re-building, Lynchburg, Va. J. B. Bell, 1912. USMA: U430.V8 S647.


Cullum Number 711.


Arney, Chris, West Point's Scientific 200: Celebration of the Bicentennial. Biographies of 200 of West Point's Most Successful and Influential Mathematicians, Scientists, Engineers, and Technologists, 2002.


Ann Assoc. Grads. U.S.M.A., 1890.




Have paper file. This file created December 2000.